Friends of Thomas Drive shooting victim raise money for his funeral expenses

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB) — In honor of murder victim Edward Ross, his friends are raising money for his funeral expenses.

They’re doing so through one of Ross’s favorite hobbies– music.

Music was a connecting factor between Ross and many friends.

Winterfest Music Festival in Panama City Beach allows many bands to gather and perform throughout the day.

With all genres of music, the event features local and regional acts.

There are 21 bands in total, most from Walton County, and one even traveled from Vermont to play.

The promoter of the event and friend of Edward Ross, Stephen Washburn says he heard the news of his friends passing while he was out of town.

“It’s definitely very special, he was very excited to come and hang out today (Sunday), and it definitely hurt to hear the news while I was out on tour,” said Washburn.

Washburn says this is an event Ross and he looked forward to attending together.

“He was really excited about being here whenever we were talking about it before I left for tour. I feel like he’d really appreciate that we were doing this for him. It definitely means a lot to me that everyone’s here,” said Washburn.

Many of Ross’s friends including Stephen along with others are giving the profits from shows like Winterfest and others to Ross’s family to pay the funeral expenses.

“Today (Sunday) and all the other shows I have coming up through the end of February, after all the gas money fees for the bands playing, all the profits will go directly to his family,”  said Washburn.

Stephen and Ross’s other friends hope that they are able to raise enough funds to cover the Ross families’ expenses.

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